[Frontiers in Bioscience 10, 2430-2446, September 1, 2005]
NOVEL TESTIS/SPERM- SPECIFIC CONTRACEPTIVE TARGETS IDENTIFIED USING GENE KNOCKOUT STUDIES
Rajesh K. Naz and Preeti Rajesh
Reproductive Immunology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The West Virginia University , School of Medicine, Health Science Center , Morgantown ,WV 28506-9186
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The population explosion and unintended pregnancies resulting in elective abortions continue to be the major public health issues in spite of availability of current methods of contraception. There is an urgent need for a better method of contraception that is accepted, effective, and available. Various targets are being investigated that can be used for contraception. The gene knockout technology is a powerful approach to identify such novel targets. Using search in the database, at least 93 genes were identified in the literature whose deletion demonstrated an effect on fertility in male mice. However, majority of these knockouts also demonstrated an effect on non-reproductive organs concomitant with an effect on fertility. The knockouts of only a few genes/proteins induced a specific effect on fertility without a serious side effect. The potential role of these novel genes/proteins in contraception/contraceptive vaccine development is discussed.